Restitution Orders under the Victims Support Scheme

The Victims Support Scheme provides practical and financial support for victims of violent crime. Through this scheme, victims can access information, advice and counselling, financial assistance and recognition payments.

If you are found guilty of a violent offence, Victims Services may make an order for restitution. A restitution order recovers money from a perpetrator of violence to compensate the victim.


Provisional order for restitution

The first document that you will receive is a provisional order which sets out the name of the victim, the injuries sustained, the date that compensation was awarded, the amount to be paid, and the facts upon which the decision was made.


Objecting to the order

A notice of objection to a provisional order must be lodged within 28 days. If an objection is not lodged, the provisional order will be confirmed and transferred to Revenue NSW as an enforceable debt. Revenue NSW can then commence enforcement action against you, such as cancelling or suspending your driver’s licence, deducting the money from your wages or bank account, or authorising the seizure of your goods or property.

Lodging an objection gives you the opportunity to present your views, and explain why the amount requested should be reduced or dismissed.

If an objection is lodged, the matter will be considered by the Commissioner of Victims Rights, who will determine whether the provisional order should be confirmed. You will not be present but can make submissions as to:

  • Your culpability for the injuries.
  • Your financial circumstances.
  • The involvement of other people in the offence.
  • Your age at the time of the incident.

Financial circumstances are one of the most pressing considerations, and will include your income as well as outgoings or debts. If you are in a relationship, your joint financial situation will be considered.

The Commissioner may confirm the order, revoke it, or change the amount payable.


Appealing to NCAT

You can challenge the Commissioner’s decision by applying for administrative review of the decision at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a time limitation on restitution orders?

Generally, a victim may lodge an application for victims support payments up to two years after the act of violence or up to two years after he or she has turned 18, if he or she was a child at the time of the act of violence.

There are some circumstances when the time limit for a victim to make such an application is extended. For example:

  • In cases of child abuse (physical), adult sexual assault and adult domestic violence, the victim can make an application up to 10 years after the act of violence, or 10 years after the child turns 18.
  • In cases of child sexual assault, there is no time limit for the victim to make an application.

The provisional order for restitution by the offender must be made by the Commissioner within two years of the period in which a victim may receive victims support, or within two years from the date of conviction of a defendant for the offence – whichever is the later.

How do I repay the amount stipulated in the order?

You can enter into a payment arrangement with Revenue NSW. This will enable you to pay the amount over a period of time in regular instalments.

Alternatively, you can pay the restitution in a lump sum payment.

What if no conviction was recorded against me?

It is not necessary for you to have been convicted of the offence for a restitution order to be made. It is sufficient for you to have been proven guilty, even if no conviction was recorded (i.e., you received a section 10).

How can we help?

We are experienced in successfully challenging restitution orders, having them revoked or the amount significantly reduced. We can make submissions to the Commissioner and seek reviews before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.